ALLIEDSIGNAL/ITEC is to begin qualification tests in Phoenix on its F124-GA-100 power plant for the proposed Czech Aero Vodochody L-159 light-attack aircraft by October.

The tests which are to be completed in October, are required by the Czech military for qualification of the engine, before the first flight of the prototype, in 1996. The first engine, is scheduled to be delivered to Aero, on 15 January.

In spite of that, the L-159's maiden flight, scheduled to take place in April, may now be delayed until mid-1996. The first prototype was to be a modified L-59 trainer airframe, with the F124 engine and a basic avionics package instead of the Rockwell-led international avionics package planned for the operational aircraft.

Sources close to the programme say, however, that with Aero's bid for the Australian air force jet-trainer competition apparently dead, the urgency to get an AlliedSignal-powered airframe off the ground has gone.

While the first prototype will have an AlliedSignal gearbox on board, an offset contract to produce subsequent gearboxes has gone to Czech firm PBS Velka Bites. AlliedSignal has supplied PBS with information on technical procedures. The first Czech gearbox is expected to be ready in September 1996.

AlliedSignal is also to produce three engines for the flight test programme - two flying, and one spare.

The Tunisian air force has taken delivery the first of 12 Aero Vodochody L-59F advanced jet trainers. The aircraft was officially handed over at a ceremony in Prague on 6 September. The remaining 11 aircraft will be delivered before the end of 1995.

Source: Flight International